Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects social interactions and behaviors. Previous research has shown that children with ASD demonstrate motor skill deficits in comparison to their neurotypically developing peers. However, it is unknown whether these motor skill deficits translate into adulthood. PURPOSE: The study intended to evaluate skipping performance and kinematics in college students with and without ASD to identify potential deficits. METHODS: A total of 20 college students, 10 with ASD and 10 without, participated in this study. Following a skipping demonstration, each participant completed three skipping trials. Data was collected using a three-dimensional (3-D), 12-camera motion capture system at 120Hz using reflective markers that were placed on participants’ upper and lower extremities. Developmental scoring of skipping performance was performed using a combination of Everyone Can! and the Halverson Developmental Sequences for Skipping. Data were processed using Cortex, Visual 3D, Matlab, and SPSS software. Center of mass excursion, the peak velocity of joint extension during the stance phase, and peak joint angles of the hip, knee, and ankle of the dominant leg were extracted and compared between both groups. Independent t-tests were used to compare normally distributed kinematic variables and Mann-Whitney U test were used to examine the center of mass excursion as well as the difference in developmental scores between both groups with an alpha level of 0.5. RESULTS: Individuals with ASD performed less proficiently in skipping than individuals without ASD as assessed by the developmental scoring. However, there were no statistically significant differences for the peak joint angles, velocities, or vertical center of mass excursion. The ASD group demonstrated an increased medial-lateral center of mass displacement (p= 0.026). CONCLUSION: Participants with ASD were less proficient in their skip performance in comparison to participants without ASD. Given that skipping is a motor skill used in many common sports and leisure activities, interventions addressing the ability to skip proficiently may promote participation in these activities and help individuals with ASD lead more physically active lives.



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